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Norse Spirit Society

Join the Inaugural Norse Spirit Society!

In partnership with MeetNKY and New Riff, NKU is proud to unveil its new community program, the Norse Spirit Society. Through 5 courses spread over the year, members of the Norse Spirit Society will dig into all things bourbon – history, tourism, blending, food and politics. And have a lot of fun too!


Course Schedule: 

September 28, 2022- kick-off event at NKU’s Health Innovation Center

November 30, 2022, 7-9 p.m.- Bourbon Thrown Down: History and Future of a Complex Industry – New Riff Main Campus

Education Activity: An intimate conversation with Fred Minnick, author, blogger, columnist and bourbon aficionado, and Jay Erisman, Vice President of New Riff Distilling. They will discuss the history of bourbon, Northern Kentucky’s regional bourbon history, and the future of the industry.

Experience Activity: a cocktail demonstration of ‘then’ and ‘now’ cocktails for comparison and sampling with Molly Wellmann and Katie Tobin.  


January 25, 2023, 7-9 p.m.- The Politics of Bourbon: Good Lordy There Are Laws - NKU

Education Activity: A panel discussion featuring Kentucky Senate Majority Leader and bourbon brand owner, Damon Thayer, Kentucky Distillers Association President, Eric Gregory, and Ken Lewis, owner of New Riff Distilling, talking about the myriad of laws on the books in Kentucky regarding spirits, whiskey taxes and how the three-tier system works. What has changed since Prohibition and what needs to still be accomplished to ensure Kentucky keeps its edge in the spirits industry? 

Experience Activity: sampling from Revival Vintage Bourbon and comparison of a vintage high rye bourbon to today’s New Riff’s four-year-old rye whiskey.  


March 29, 2023, 7-9 p.m.- Blending is More Than Trending: Is bourbon blending the future of the industry? – New Riff Main Campus

Education Activity: Panel of blending experts will discuss their process and the history of blending and rectifying.  Panel includes Brian Sprance from New Riff, Bill Whitlow from Wenzel Whiskey, and Brett Connors from Castle & Key.  

Experience Activity: Eexperience the art of the blend with Brian Sprance.


May 31, 2023, 7-9 p.m.- Someone Ate My Bourbon: A Culinary Journey of Bourbon and Food – location TBD 

Education Activity: A spirited discussion and journey through marrying food and spirits led by Amy Tobin, Director of Communication at New Riff. Amy will walk attendees through a bourbon mashbill and food pairings to liven any event or tasting.

Experience Activity: Begin to experiment with cocktail and libation by crafting your own shrub, with Katie Tobin, that will complement a meal.


August 2, 2023 7-9 p.m.- Bourbon Tourism: Better Than Napa is the Goal – Braxton Barrel House

Education Activity: Another mash-up of both sides of bourbon tourism with Mandy Ryan, Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and O.J. Lima, co-founder of Taste, Select, Repeat, a diverse whiskey group focusing on bringing bourbon experiences to a new demographic of bourbon enthusiasts. Moderated by Julie Kirkpatrick, President & CEO of meetNKY. 

Experience Activity: pay homage to the evolution of the Kentucky Distillery as Hannah Lowen takes us on a visual journey of how New Riff is extending their brand at their main campus with a private experiential offering. 

This event will also feature ‘graduation” and presentation of the Norse Spirit Society coin. 

Upon completion of the five-class series: Each participant will be inducted into the Norse Spirit Society, receive the year’s class challenge coin that will give them benefits such as discounts at B-Line stops, special invitations to member-only events, yearly barrel pick opportunities, etc.

Meet NKU - Northern Kentucky CVB



Have a question or want to learn more?

Contact us at (859) 572-5236 or complete the form below.

Glasses with bourbon